I’ve often given doctors too little credit when it comes to business decisions.
But, in an op-ed published at Reuters, physician Ford Vox argues otherwise.
He notes that doctors, indeed, have tremendous business sense:
How can anybody say that doctors don’t have business sense, when not only do most American physicians forge their way in small private practices, but new doctors lay their cards on the table every year? The competitiveness of residencies, where doctors train to become a pediatrician or a cardiologist, correlates strongly with the field’s earnings potential. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*
It’s the holy grail of physician payment reform: ending fee-for-service payments to doctors and, instead, pay doctors based on the quality of care they perform. Remarkably, Congress feels they’ve found the answer:
Thus, the new language in the Senate Finance bill would finally connect Medicare reimbursements to quality, as opposed to volume.
The measure gives the secretary of Health and Human Services, working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the power to develop quality measurements and a payment structure that would be based on quality of care relative to the cost of care. The secretary would have to account for variables that include geographic variations, demographic characteristics of a region, and the baseline health status of a given provider’s Medicare beneficiaries.
The secretary would also be required to account for special conditions of providers in rural and underserved communities.
Additionally, the quality assessments would be done on a group-practice level, as opposed to a statewide level. Thus, the amendment would reward physicians who deliver quality health care even if they are in a relatively low quality region.
The secretary of Health and Human Services would begin to implement the new payment structure in 2015. By 2017, all physician payments would need to be based on quality.
Wow. That sounds great! But there’s just one problem…
… how do we define “quality?”
Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*